General, Research, Technology

Airbus introduced an all-electric racing aircraft

Today, electric transport is developingat a crazy pace. And five years ago it was impossible to even dream of such a thing. Light electric cars will not surprise anyone, and electric trucks are able to transport goods calmly and almost on equal terms with ordinary cars. Developments are also being made in the field of creating electric aircraft. But the most, perhaps, most interesting development in this area was presented by Airbus specialists - an electric racing aircraft.

A racing plane? Yes, and completely electric? This is something new!

Why do I need an electric racing airplane

For starters, it's worth noting that almost everythingelectric aircraft being developed today focus more on passenger transportation. However, among those who are interested in aviation, there are those who have probably heard about the planned Air Race E competition, which is something like an analogue of the famous Formula 1, but from the world of airplanes. It is assumed that eight pilots of aircraft will take part in Air Race E, which will have to fly along the ring track at a height of 10 meters and at a speed of around 400 kilometers per hour.

However, in the framework of this championship will benot quite ordinary flying vehicles are used. For example, engineers from Airbus and the University of Nottingham created the world's first all-electric racing aircraft called White Lightning. White Lightning, according to the developers, is able to reach speeds of 483 kilometers per hour, which is a very, very worthy indicator for an electric airplane. But so far, not everything is so rosy.

The lithium battery is, to put it mildly, short-lived, -says Air Race E lead organizer Jeff Walkman. White Lightning can fly at high speeds in the order of 5 minutes, and another 10 minutes in standby mode with lower engine power. The airplane and the tournament itself is a kind of “test bench” that will contribute to the development of electric transport in general and air travel in particular.

How do you feel about the idea of ​​creatingelectric aircraft? Express your opinion in the comments and in our chat in Telegram. The Air Race E racing tournament is due to take place in the early to mid-2020, and some details about the upcoming race are likely to appear in the near future. For example, the leadership of Air Race E is not yet ready to name the other 7 teams (besides Airbus) that will take part in the tournament. But promises to do it "in the very near future."

See also: In the UK, preparing to test a passenger aircraft on hydrogen fuel

Returning to the beginning of the article: so why do we need such fast electric planes, given that they can also fly no longer than 5 minutes? In fact, everything is quite simple: as a rule, a lot of technological innovations and processes for the production of various components “run through” these devices. And the technological discoveries made here can go into the “private sector” of conventional air transportation. In the end, something similar happened with motorsport and gas-powered cars, when the technologies used on the racetrack were reflected in cars for the mass market segment.

Unfortunately, there are no demonstrations of White Lightning flight yet. But here is what another NASA electric plane represents, you can watch in the video available below.

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